TAFE’s sign new cyber curriculum

James Riley
Editorial Director

Educational organisations around the country have signed up to new national standards for cyber security training in an effort to address Australia’s “critical” skills gap.

The guidelines ensure a nationally consistent curriculum for Certifications III, IV and Advanced Diplomas in cyber security, and will be implemented from Term 1 from next year across Australia.

A wide range of educational institutions around the country, including Box Hill, TasTAFE, TAFE Queensland, TAFE NSW and the Canberra Institute of Technology, officially signed onto the scheme at an event on Tuesday.

Craig Davies: The national curriculum in TAFE’s is a huge step in the right direction

The Cyber Security National Program was developed by AustCyber – formerly the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network – and is to be based on courses currently taught at Box Hill TAFE, with the body receiving $4.7 million in Victorian government funding to develop the qualifications.

Box Hill worked closely with AustCyber to develop the national standards and to get other TAFEs on board.

The program ensures that anyone studying cyber security at TAFE around Australia would receive on-the-job experience, and look at addressing the existing skills gap in the country. The students get access to accredited training and help getting a job following completion of the course.

Participating TAFEs would also form local industry reference groups to ensure the delivery of the programs are meeting industry needs.

The large number of TAFEs coordinating with each other is hugely important, Box Hill Institute Group chief executive Norman Gray said.

“Within our own jurisdictions, TAFEs are able to produce excellent training results. But united, we have the opportunity to produce something really special,” Mr Gray said.

“By combining the strengths of our teachers and our facilities, we’ll develop a training solution boosted by our combined development of resources and synchronisation of the delivery of programs.”

Speaking at the InnovatonAus.com Cyber Leaders conference in October, AustCyber CEO Craig Davies said the Cyber Security National Program was all about ensuring students received the same level of education no matter where they studied across the country.

“It’s about making a natural program delivered across the country that is consistent, with industry input and with candidates that are ready to learn. We can no longer say, ‘we need to do it this way in Victoria, another way in New South Wales and another way in Queensland’,” Mr Davies said.

“What we’re driving is how we align that standard so that if an employer picks up a graduate out of a VET program, they will know that they’ve had a consistent style of education.”

Victorian government funding for Box Hill TAFE came from its $50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund, and its courses would help protect Australians online, according to Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney.

“As more and more Victorians use the internet to do their banking and shopping, it’s vital we have job-ready graduates to fight the increasing threat of cybercrime,” Ms Tierney said.

“Thanks to a government that is getting it done and supporting TAFE, it’s no surprise other states are looking to us on how to deliver high quality, industry aligned training that leads to well paid, rewarding jobs.”

Victorian Trade and Investment Minister Philip Dalidakis said the state aimed to position itself as the cyber security leader of Australia.

“Victoria is leading Australia when it comes to cyber security – we’re attracting more investment so Victorians are protected from cyber-crime and winning a large share of the booming global cyber security sector,” Mr Dalidakis said.

State TAFEs are also gearing up to lobby the federal government for funding for a national cyber security internship program.

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